Dynastic - The Forbidden City
20th Century - The Tian'anmen Square Flag Raising
Modern - Clubbing in Beijing
- while also taking the aforementioned 24 hour long train ride. Whoo boy...
So the day portion was spent in class like any other day while I was in Beijing. In the afternoon, the kids all did a talent show in which each class performed a small English skit. Our juniors did "I'm a Little Teacup" flawlessly. That evening, we all gathered together for a farewell banquet in which we recieved out TEFL Certificates, stating officially that we were teachers! It then came around that in a few hours everyone was going out to a club in Beijing, and I knew I couldn't miss it. I had to see what it would be like.
For the last few days we had been discussing going to Tian'anmen Square to see the flag raising, and as we all sat around drinking pijiu it came up again. This was the last chance I would probably ever have in my life to see something like this, and I wasn't about to let something like sleep get in my way. We decided before leaving that we would do it. 4:15 AM wake up call, here I come.
We went out to a set of twin clubs in Beijing called Mix and Vic's. I never even made it over to Vic's, but I had more than enough insanity at Mix to keep me satisfied. There were hundreds of dressed up Chinese people all pulsing under flashing, jumping lights. The girls all had on very skimpy outfits, while the guys ranged all the way up to some in suits. Foam and bubbles periodically fell from the ceiling, and the DJ shouted to the crowd in Chinese. By 1 AM, my head was pounding and we took off.
The cab ride back got us to the hotel by about 2, and I realized sleep was not going to happen. I still had to pack my bags to get on the train that afternoon because we would have no time once we left in the morning, and I had to be in the hotel lobby by 4:15 AM. I slept about 30 minutes, which proved to be more of a mistake than just staying up.
|The Great Hall of the People, Tian'anmen Square|
|The Chinese police force waiting before the flag raising.|
|Me, really damn tired.|
The Forbidden City was truly overwhelming. I walked through portal after portal, only to find another massive courtyard in front of me. The buildings were incredibly lavish, with carved dragons and bright colors adorning them all. While wandering, we came across the actual room where dynastic China ended. It was where the last dynastic ruler of China resigned power to what became the unified Republic of China. Sadly, Chinese history is where I probably have the least knowledge, and so as impressive as it all was, I'm sure I would have had an even greater impression if I knew more about what I was looking at. That, and by this point I was a walking zombie.